Identification without Subjugation
In 2016 we have no way to know if the operator of an online account is a human with one unique account or someone with many sockpuppets or even a bot. Spammers bots,click farmers, and script kiddies threaten to undermine reputation and voting system (like those on ether.camp) with spam, sockpuppets and fraud. There seems to be no cross-platform way to create a level playing field without the use of centralised systems or ‘trusted’ third parties where all users data is vulnerable to data mining and identity theft.
What if there were a way to add TRUST back into to the network without doing away with privacy, pseudonymity or even anonymity and without entrusting all our digital identification to central repositories/authorities?
This is where etherReal comes in.
etherReal aims to provide privacy respecting and autonomy preserving tools that can achieve all this (and more) in a user friendly and egalitarian way.
etherReal will be an emergently trustless Attestation and Authentication system designed to create associations between physical Information (identification, documents etc.) and Digital Keys. etherReal is designed on a participatory economics model, with the use of sortition to avoid fraud and collusion.
How you can help TODAY
Now for an example.
How it works
To build an etherReal Identity each user will need to attest (or witness) the etherReal-IÐ of others a number of times a year. The pairing of users will be by sortition (aka allotment.) The process of selecting officers as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates. Participants in the system will be incentivised by reciprocity.
If a User declines to attest or be verified too often their etherReal-IÐ will decay (think DNS propagation in reverse). Those who attest to the reality of a given question stake their own reputation/authenticity on that claim. The process attestation involves a tasks that only a human can do, (such as meeting face to face,) and so users create a “proof of work” that they themselves are in fact etherReal.
An Example of etherReal for proof of physical address.
Alice and Bob live less than 20 miles apart and have each signed up to etherReal. The system randomly assigns Bob to validate Alice, in a process like ebay’s buyer collects, where one person travels to the location of the other. Craig is a ‘third party’, in a distant geographic location, who is nominated to oversee the interaction (there may be one or many random referees). Alice and Bob are each given cryptographic secrets to exchange so that the referees can validate that they have genuinely met in the real world. Alice and Bob are offered a zero knowledge communication channel, and Craig acts like a man-in-the-middle who can see all their communications in the clear. This is to prevent them opening a back channel and defrauding the system.
When Bob is presented with his validation task, (to confirm Alice’s address) the information he is given is limited as far as possible to the minimum required for the validation. In this case he may be presented with just the town and street name until shortly before the meeting, when he will receive the full address, or GPS coordinate. Bob now has a piece of target data about Alice to validate; as well as her address he may attest to her age, or that she has the passport she claims to have.
In our example Bob and Alice settle on a time and Bob goes to Alice‘s location and presents his half of the secret to Alice who in turn will reply with her half. Now they can each send their combined secrets to Craig as confirmation tokens and go back to their normal lives. If either party reports that something seemed ‘wrong’ then that suspicion is flagged for verification by others in a shorter time. False attestations or attempts to game the system will result in damage to the users reputation.
Accounts will be paired by geographic location which means that communities (or users) in the middle of no where may have to boot strap from nothing. The 6 degrees of separation should mean that it will not be too long before isolated islands are connected. (This system will of course sit well along side a Friend of a Friend (FoaF) system but has the benefit of guarding against conspiracies of friends.)
Thanks for taking the time.